May 2019

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Mortal Kombat 11 DLC Trailer Highlights Shang Tsung Gameplay

Mortal Kombat 11’s Kombat Pack has been detailed in a new trailer that revealed Shang Tsung gameplay, alongside the names of other upcoming guest characters.

Early Access to fighter Shang Tsung will be available on June 18, as well a Klassic Arcade Ninja Skin Pack. The Kombat Pack will introduce the following fighters:

  • Shang Tsung,
  • Nightwolf
  • Sindel
  • Spawn
  • Two more guest characters

The reveal trailer, viewable above, does not indicate who those other two characters may be, but as the tease of a couple more fighters is displayed, the sound of a chainsaw can be heard, along with blood splattering the on-screen text.

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‘Super Soccer Champs 2019’ Surprise Lands in the App Store in Time for the Champions League Final

If you’re gearing up to watch “the big match” tomorrow then you’re going to want to grab yourself a copy of Super Soccer Champs 2019 (Free) which just surprise-launched in the App Store. In case you’re unfamiliar, Super Soccer Champs is the footballing series from Uprising Games, aka developer Elton Bird. You may be familiar with Uprising by way of 2016’s Tennis Champs Returns (Free), which is one of the best tennis games… no scratch that, one of the best all-around sports games… no scratch THAT too. Tennis Champs Returns is one of the BEST games around period, and Super Soccer Champs retains its light and breezy arcade exterior and its hidden levels of depth and strategy. Basically, if games like Sensible World of Soccer got your motor humming back in the day, or you just appreciate really approachable sports games that don’t require a 5 hour tutorial to come to grips with, then you’re gonna have a good time with Super Soccer Champs 2019.

We really enjoyed last year’s entry in the series, and the 2019 version takes things to the next level with online multiplayer for two players through …read more

Publisher Profile: Raw Fury

Johan Toresson of Raw Fury spoke with us for this week’s Publisher Profile, talking about the publisher’s search for developers with unique visions and bold ideas, and what they intend to do to help them succeed.

Who are you?

Johan Toresson, Raw Fury: Johan Toresson, Chief Say That Again Officer. I keep watch over what comes in and make sure that we sign games that make us mouth “DOPE” silently into the air when we play. Or stuff that makes me cry and question my reality. Anything that makes us really feel what the game is going for.

Can you tell us a bit about your company?

Raw Fury is a boutique publisher, which basically means that we’re like the people who would find cool unknown bands and bring them to whatever small town you were living in. It all started out with Jónas, Gordon, and David back in 2015, and now we’re a bunch of happy weirdos trying to help developers make the games they want to make and ideally make enough out of it to keep on making games.

What work do you do to help developers …read more

‘Arena of Valor’ News: Marketing Team Drama, May Patch Notes, And Leaks Galore

It’s all kicking off in this week’s Arena of Valor news roundup. The game has been dealt another blow if a new report is to be believed, lending credence to the idea that Arena of Valor is about to be usurped by KoG, LoL Mobile, or just its own failure to grab the kind of audience Tencent wanted to replicate outside of China.

What a way to spend our 52nd, an thus the 1st anniversary of the AoV roundup, huh? This could be the end of the road.

Tencent Allegedly Disbands AOV’s Marketing Team

With all this talk of KoG and/or League of Legends Mobile entering the scene, several media outlets have finally begun to look deeper into Arena of Valor. The resulting reporter focus has potentially unearthed Tencent’s recent decision to disband the game’s marketing/community team. What marketing team?” I hear you ask. Well, whatever was there no longer is.

The report by Reuters suggests the game flopped in Tencent’s mind due in part to its more generic non-descript themes, lack of platform appeal in the west, and a player base of “just 100,000-150,000″ daily users compared to the Chinese version’s 55 million. Fault was also placed …read more

Spelling Bee Championship Ends in Insane 8-Way Tie

In a historic turn of events, the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in an eight-way tie. The eight finalists, ranging from ages 12 to 14, went 20 consecutive rounds without misspelling a word. That’s when it was declared by Dr. Jacques Bailly, the Scripps National Spelling Bee’s official announcer, that all remaining contestants would be named “co-champions,” according to Time.

The winning word for each champion were: auslaut, erysipelas, bougainvillea, aiguillette, pendeloque, palama, cernuous, and odylic.

There have been three other instances of Spelling Bee ties in 2014, 2015 and 2016, although each of those only saw two co-champions, which goes to show just how unprecedented it was to have eight winners this year. The prize for first place is $50,000 and a trophy, but rather than splitting the winnings, each co-champion will receive the full $50,000 and their own trophy.

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Opinion: Accessibility Is Becoming The New Standard

In 2018, one of my favorite game series of all time received the remaster treatment with the release of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. However, much of the nostalgia was quickly killed with the stark realization that not only did Activision exclude the deaf and hard of hearing by not including subtitles, but it also made the ill-advised decision to defend its position on social media with the following statement:

While there’s no industry standard for subtitles, the studio and Activision care about the fans’ experience especially with respect to accessibility for people with different abilities, and will evaluate going forward.

If there wasn’t an industry standard, there wouldn’t have been an uproar, and their presence wouldn’t have been missed. However, this is just one situation that proved accessibility is now becoming the new normal for video games. In fact, the outcry from fans asking for subtitles was so widespread and effective that within four months of launch developer Toys for Bob released a patch that implemented some very impressive subtitles. They are color-coded to ensure clarity and presented with speaker tags and letter boxing.

Games like Spyro, Sekiro, and Red Dead Redemption 2 make headlines for lacking basic accessibility …read more

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Dying Light 2 — Road To E3

I love a good zombie game, and I particularly love a good zombie game that plays with the format. We last saw Dying Light 2 at last year’s E3 – where it was announced – and the demo promised some fun new twists to the formula in an open world designed to inspire some frantic clambering as you’re pursued by hordes of the undead.

Firstly, its sandbox – 4x bigger than the sandbox in the original – can be changed depending on your choices. There are a bunch of factions scattered throughout its “modern dark age” world, and your loyalties to them will change what resources are available to you as Dying Light 2 progresses. For example, if you choose to cut a deal with some bandits who have killed a man instead of avenging the man, you’ll align yourself with their faction.

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OPINION: Death Stranding Won’t Be As Fun As Death Stranding Theories

Welp, Death Stranding finally has a release date, and come November 8th, we’ll finally be able to unpack its many mysteries and maybe actually understand that what the Hell Hideo Kojima’s latest game is about… But as much as I’m dying to play it myself, part of me really doesn’t want the rampant speculation to end.

Much of the fun of Kojima’s games is how much they mess with the player, and even as far back as the first Metal Gear Solid, they’ve been pushing the boundaries of how players interact with the game. Between hiding Meryl’s codec frequency in plain sight on the back of the game case, to having Psycho Mantis make the screen go black until we switched controller ports, Kojima’s idea of how we should play a video game was not limited to the simple act of pushing buttons on a controller to make things happen on a screen.

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Top Of The Table – Pandemic: Rapid Response

Hidden away in the array of modern board games is a subset of titles focused on real-time countdowns. It can be a contentious design decision, since it has the potential to subtract from the relaxed and conversational vibe typically engendered so well by a fun board game night. Nonetheless, some games manage to get it right, by keeping the action moving fast, the rules simple, and the game lengths limited. I’m happy to report that Pandemic: Rapid Response fits comfortably into the category of fun real-time games, and it’s a release that deserves your attention.

Pandemic is one of the most familiar games in the hobby scene. By focusing on cooperation between players, and an identifiable theme about staving off worldwide disease, the game has long been heralded as one of the great “gateway” games for inviting new players into the tabletop hobby. The original Pandemic release has inspired a host of follow-ups, including an excellent legacy variation and one of my personal favorites, a twist on the concept set in ancient Rome. Pandemic: Rapid Response maintains the cooperative playstyle, as well as the focus on a team of specialists leveraging their skills to save human …read more

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Review – What Is the Secret of Your Power?

When a really old game is remade or ported to modern platforms, developers have to cater to two audiences usually. The first one is the fans who played the original and likely want to either experience a game the way it was or through their own rose tinted memories (I learned this when I bought a few NES games on 3DS a few years ago). The second group is newcomers who have either never heard of the game or have never experienced it in the past. Lizardcube’s take on Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap which originally released on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch as Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap ($5.99) nails everything for both audiences and it is finally on iOS as a premium release with nothing cut that costs almost a third of its console version price.

I’m in the camp of people who never played the original and only experienced The Dragon’s Trap through Lizardcube and DotEmu’s remake on the Switch. It did a lot right with difficulty options but the new visuals and new music won me over. I bought this the moment it went live on …read more